Country Listing

Japan Table of Contents


Special Police

In addition to regular police officers, there are several thousand officials attached to various agencies who perform special duties relating to public safety. They are responsible for such matters as railroad security, forest preservation, narcotics control, fishery inspection, and enforcement of regulations on maritime, labor, and mine safety.

The largest and most important of these ministry-supervised public safety agencies is the Maritime Safety Agency, an external bureau of the Ministry of Transportation that deals with crime in coastal waters and maintains facilities for safeguarding navigation. The agency operates a fleet of patrol and rescue craft in addition to a few aircraft used primarily for antismuggling patrols and rescue activities. In 1990 there were 2,846 incidents in and on the waters. In those incidents, 1,479 people drowned or were lost and 1,347 people were rescued.

There are other agencies having limited public safety functions. These agencies include the Labor Standards Inspection Office of the Ministry of Labor, railroad police of Japan Railways Group, immigration agents of the Ministry of Justice, postal inspectors of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and revenue inspectors in the Ministry of Finance.

A small intelligence agency, the Public Security Investigation Office of the Ministry of Justice, handles national security matters both inside and outside the country. Its activities are not generally known to the public.

Data as of January 1994